Monday, April 20, 2015

Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin

Title: Sophomore Year is Greek to Me

Author: Meredith Zeitlin

Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 21 April 2015

Pages: 336

Series: Companion to Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters

Purchase Links:
Book Depository*

Summary: High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks.   (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  After reading Zeitlin's previous novel, Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters, I was looking forward to reading this one.  

The characters were really odd and not in a good way.  Just their actions were so strange that I couldn't help but feel like they really weren't Zona's friends.  That being said, there are a couple of serious issues bought up in the book and I felt like Zona handled them pretty well.

There were a couple of things that made me laugh out loud.  There were just some moments that were pretty funny, however, I felt like the overall tone of the book wasn't to be humorous, at least it wasn't as humorous as Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters.

Unfortunately, I felt like this book was just ok.  I think that for me, I'm just really not interested in Young Adult novels anymore as I find them lacking the depth that I would like.  If you're a fan of contemporary YA fiction then I would definitely suggest checking this one out.

Source: Netgalley for review

Monday, April 13, 2015

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

Title: Heartsick

Author: Chelsea Cain

Published: Pan, 2008

Pages: 421

Series: Book 1, Gretchen Lowell and Archie Sheridan

Summary: When beautiful serial killer Gretchen Lowell captured her last victim - the man in charge of hunting her down - she quickly established who was really in control of the investigation. So why, after ten days of horrifying physical and mental torture, did she release Detective Archie Sheridan from the brink of death and hand herself in?

Two years on, Archie now returns to lead the search for a new killer, whose recent attacks on teenage girls have left the city of Portland reeling. Shadowed by vulnerable young reporter Susan Ward, Archie knows that only one person can help him climb into the mind of this psychopath. But can Archie finally manage to confront the demons of his past without being consumed by them?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I've been looking for some more good mystery/thrillers that centre around a serial killer or serial killers so I thought I would give Heartsick a go.

I felt like the first part of the book was a little bit slow going, it took me a while to get into it so I was a little slow in reading it.  When I got further into the book however, I really started to enjoy it.

The characters weren't really what interested me in this book.  Basically, I was interested in what had happened between Archie and Gretchen Lowell, but I wasn't super sympathetic towards him.  Really, I felt like the novel wasn't completely character driven.  Or at least, I wasn't completely focused on that part of it.

I found the mystery aspect to be really interesting.  It's more of a thriller than a straight up mystery so there aren't really clues to follow along to find out who the killer is.  It's more of a following the detective and reporter along as the case unfolds.  Which is fine.  I was kind of expecting it to focus a little more on that aspect but I was happy enough.

I've heard a lot of people comparing this to Silence of the Lambs and I can see why, but honestly I felt like it didn't really remind me of Silence of the Lambs.  The only similarity is that Gretchen is a serial killer that Archie goes to visit in prison.  The rest of it is a bit different.

Overall, I quite enjoyed Heartsick. It wasn't completely what I was expecting but I did enjoy what I read and so I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Sweetheart in the near future.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Title: Broken Monsters

Author: Lauren Beukes

Published: HarperCollins, 2014

Pages: 520

Summary: Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies, but this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half-boy, half-deer, somehow fused. The cops nickname him "Bambi," but as stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?

If you're Detective Versado's over-achieving teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you are the disgraced journalist, Jonno, you do whatever it takes to investigate what may become the most heinous crime story in memory. If you're Thomas Keen, you'll do what you can to keep clean, keep your head down, and try to help the broken and possibly visionary artist obsessed with setting loose The Dream, tearing reality, assembling the city anew.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: When I saw this one being advertised last year I was quite intrigued and looking forward to reading it.  I saw that a lot of people were talking about how this was a really messed up thriller which is what I was looking for at the time.  

It took me a little while to get around to reading it, however, when I started it I got to about 150 pages in no time and then decided that I just wasn't feeling it too much so I put it down.  Basically, when I decided I wasn't feeling it, it was because it was a little slow going in terms of action and there were quite a lot of characters to keep track of.

It took me months to pick it back up again, and when I did I felt like things had picked up a little in terms of pacing, once I kept going some more.  However, I still found myself having trouble with keeping track of all the characters still.

I managed to read through the entire book in just over a day, because while it is just over 500 pages, the text is pretty big and the language is easy enough to fly through.  However, my enjoyment of the book didn't really change too much.

The story wasn't as gruesome as I was hoping for; there were a couple of things the murderer did that was a bit gross but the details were glossed over so I wasn't really feeling it.

There was this added bit of magical realism added at the very end which I just didn't care for at all.  I thought it was a little weird that it was just there all of a sudden.

Overall, I was kind of disappointed with Broken Monsters, it just wasn't what I had thought it would be and I felt like there were just too many characters for me to get deeply engrossed in the story.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham

Title: The Kraken Wakes

Author: John Wyndham

Published: Penguin Books, 2008 (first published 1953)

Pages: 238

Summary: It started with fireballs raining down from the sky and crashing into the oceans' deeps. Then ships began sinking mysteriously and later 'sea tanks' emerged from the deeps to claim people. This book narrates how humankind responds to the threat of its own extinction and, ultimately, asks what we are prepared to do in order to survive.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This is the third book of John Wyndham's that I have read and he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.  I really loved The Kraken Wakes.

I think one thing that made this book seem extra scary to me is that it has to do with the deep ocean and I tend to find that quite scary in itself, so then with these mysterious goings on relating to the ocean, this book gets pretty creepy.

I really enjoy the quality of John WYndham's writing.  It's really easy to read but also really descriptive and keeps you turning pages.

In terms of the story line itself, I thought it was really good.  I like the way John Wyndham looks at how people react in different situations and in this case it's how people react to strange phenomenon around the ocean.  

Overall, The Kraken Wakes makes a great addition to my John Wyndham collection and at this point I feel the need to tell as many people as I can to check out John Wyndham's books.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Wrap-Up

I can't believe that March is over already.  Time is going by so fast, it's pretty crazy really.  I feel like my reading this month slowed down quite a bit but that's kind of what I expected.  Anyway, here are the books I read in March.

I gave this book 1/5 stars on Goodreads.

You can read my review here.

I gave this book 2/5 stars on Goodreads.
My review will be posted later this month.

I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

I gave this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

I gave this 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads.